I'm upgrading from a 120gb PNY SSD to a 500gb Samsung 850 SSD.

I cloned the 120gb SSD using EaseUS Todo Backup onto the larger SSD, but it seemed to copy the setup of my smaller drive, so on my larger SSD, I have 354GB that is unallocated.

How can I merge the primary partition and the unallocated?

disk properties view

Disk Management view

When trying to extend the volume via Disk Management, I get the following message:

Disk Management extend volume

  • 2
    That's what cloning is. File system tables and partition information are also stored on the drive too. You clone a drive byte for byte, so you have an exact duplicate on another drive. You get the exact same layout because you cloned exactly the same file system tables and partition information. What you wanted was probably to copy the files over. For that you can just plug the SSD into an enclosure or into your computer and just copy them over – Alex May 27 '15 at 5:16
  • By just copying files over, would I still be able to properly boot from this SSD? – EnigmaRM May 27 '15 at 6:17
  • @EnigmaRM probably not, if you wanted to do that, you should do a fresh windows install on the new drive to get the partition table and structure you need, then copy your files from C: to C: – flungo May 27 '15 at 16:46

Because you did a drive clone (partition table and all), all the unallocated space is at the end of the drive. Since partitions need to be contiguous (in MBR and GPT at least). Your issue (based on the screenshots) is that you have two additional partitions at the end of the drive. Without using a dynamic disk you won't be able to expand into this space. Since this drive is a clone of your first drive you should be safe to play about a bit so I will suggest some possible ways to move the partitions to the end of this space.

Disclaimer: Do not run any of these while running on the OS that is on your new SSD. I do not take responsibility for any loss of data that could occur.

'Move' partition in Windows

If you want to do this in Windows, what I would try to do is:

  1. Expand the recovery partition to the end of the drive using all unallocated space
  2. Shrink the partition towards the end to at least its original size
  3. Do the same for the other recovery partition.
  4. You should now have unallocated space directly after your to be C: partition. Expand the partition and now it should allow you to expand into this space.

I don't really use Windows so if there is a less hacky way of doing this in windows or a Windows tool I would be happy for the suggestion.

GParted Live CD

Alternatively, I would actually recommend using a live cd with the gparted tool on it as gparted supports offline partition moving where doing it in disk management for windows as described above, it's a little bit hacky and you may get problems if it doesn't want to shrink from the beginning.

Move when you clone

Depending on your cloning software though, there may have actually been a way to clone those last two partitions to the end of the drive at that stage. Have a look, I will update if I get a chance to look for one that would support this.

Additional comment about cloning Windows

One side not about cloned drives: In windows, if there is a mapping in the Windows registry for the UUID of your new SSD you may not be able to boot as Windows bootloader will think of that drive as "D:" for example, so when it's looking for C:\Windows it won't know where to look. I will add a link for how to fix this at some point, but its common on cloned windows drives so google for the fix.

  • So TLDNR; to expand a partition BOB, you need the unallocated space you are expanding into to be contiguous with the partition BOB? – Yorik May 27 '15 at 16:46
  • @Yorik yes pretty much. Most of what I wrote is methods to do that and I have put some headers in so its not just a block of text now :P – flungo May 27 '15 at 16:49

The way:

Right click on the partition you want to extend, and hit extend volume, and follow the wizard. I have attached screenshots to show what I mean

Disk Management Disk Management Extend Volume Wizard Extend Volume Wizard Extend Volume Wizard Disk Management

  • I had started down this path earlier, but got a warning message (which I can't remember exactly right now) saying that I may lose the ability to boot to windows or something. – EnigmaRM May 27 '15 at 6:16
  • @EnigmaRM something about changing the active partition? – td512 May 27 '15 at 6:34
  • I'll have to fire it up tomorrow and give the exact message – EnigmaRM May 27 '15 at 6:57
  • "the operation you selected will convert the selected basic disk to dynamic disk If you convert the disk to dynamic, you will not be able to start installed operating systems from any volume on the disk (except the current boot volume)." – EnigmaRM May 27 '15 at 15:52
  • Is this saying that I'd lose my recovery options? – EnigmaRM May 27 '15 at 15:52

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